Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, playing in front of the fans at FedEx Field for the first time, was as good as he had to be to stake his team to a 14-7 halftime lead on the way to a 30-17 preseason win over the Colts.Griffin didnt quite match the stats of the quarterback on the other side of the field in the hyped matchup with the top two picks of this years draft but his team did outscore Andrew Lucks while the two were in the game.Griffin completed 11 of 17 passes for 74 yards and a touchdown to Santana Moss. Luck was 14 of 23 for 151 yards and a nice TD strike to T. Y. Hilton.This was the third preseason game and it is supposed to serve as a dress rehearsal and final tuneup for the regular season. If that is the case, then Mike Shanahan has plenty to be pleased with.I thought Robert did a good job, he said. He keeps on getting better and better, more comfortable with the system and what were trying to do.Griffin had plenty of help, too. Much of it was in the form of 107 rushing yards by fellow rookie Alfred Morris.He makes my job easy. I told him that on the sideline and his comeback to me was you make my job easy as well, said Griffin. Gaining 107 yards in a preseason game is a pretty big deal.Griffin said that he thought his timing with his receivers was better this week than it was in the previous two preseason games. I just feel more comfortable, just getting into the flow of the game, being able to play a little bit.The first touchdown the Redskins scored came on a two-yard Morris run. That capped a 66-yard drive that saw Griffin go 3 for 3 including an 18-yard strike to Pierre Garon. That moved them to the Colts 19. Morris took it in from there with runs of 17 and then two yards. That put the Redskins up 7-0.The Colts and Luck answered with an 80-yard drive to tie the game. Washington answered with an 80-yard drive of its own. Griffin was 5 of 6 on the drive and capped it with the TD toss to Moss. From a shotgun formation, Griffin sprinted to his right and hit Moss in the front corner of the end zone.Tana did a good job getting open, Griffin said. Its my job to hit him in stride and I hit him in stride and the rest is history. The offensive line did a great job of sealing off the edge, along with the running back because you cant have any penetration on a play like that.Everything was clicking and we got a touchdown.Three of Griffins four incompletions came on deep passes. He missed connections with Garon twice, once on the first play from scrimmage, and once with Leonard Hankerson.Itll come, said Griffin of success on the long balls. Those type of things, those situations, you have to get used to a guys game speed.Once were in the season and we get a few more reps at those deep routes well hit those like theres no tomorrow and well get a lot of touchdowns and a lot of people celebrating.The celebrations will come if Griffin keeps on making progress. He did not get sacked after taking three sacks in the first quarter against the Bears last week. After turning the ball over once in each of the first two preseason games he did not turn it over at all.This will be Griffin's last game action until the season opener on New Orleans on Sept. 9. Both he and Shanahan confirmed that the first team, including Griffin, will not play in Wednesday's preseason finale against the Bucs.
With Redskins Training Camp set to begin July 26th, JP Finlay takes a look at 10 of the most pressing questions for the Burgundy and Gold.
No. 8: More investments on D-Line, but who goes where?
The Redskins had to improve the defensive line this offseason. The defense ranked dead last against the run in 2017, and without improvement up front defensively, the playoffs would again be out of reach in 2018.
And for the second straight season, Washington tried.
The team selected Daron Payne out of Alabama with their first-round pick and Tim Settle out of Virginia Tech in the fifth round. The front office also waived under-performing Terrell McClain in the offseason and moved on from veteran A.J. Francis.
Perhaps most important, the team should have 2017 first-rounder Jonathan Allen completely healthy this fall. He and Matt Ioannidis looked like a strong front in 2017 before a foot injury shut down Allen for the year in Week 5. Add in Anthony Lanier, who flashed big-time sack potential, and the Redskins have a strong, young nucleus.
But how does it all work?
In the base 3-4 scheme, Payne might have the strength to play nose tackle. Settle definitely has the size for the nose. Both are rookies, however, and will need to learn a lot, and fast, to start Week 1. Veteran Stacy McGee, coming off groin surgery, might be able to hold off the rookies if he is fully healthy. When a nose is on the field, expect Allen and Ioannidis to line up at the defensive tackle spots. If he's not playing nose, Payne will rotate in at tackle as well. Another veteran, Ziggy Hood, will provide depth at tackle, if he makes the team.
In the nickel package, which the team deploys more than half of their snaps, expect to see a healthy rotation of Allen, Payne, Ioannidis and Lanier. Keeping those players fresh should allow interior pocket pressure, and that could be great news for Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith.
With Payne and Allen the headliners, and Ioannidis and Lanier valuable, and Settle capable at the nose, the Redskins have five D-line roster spots about locked down.
Last year, the team kept six defensive linemen coming out of camp. If McGee is healthy, that spot will be his. If he's not, Hood likely hangs on. It's also possible the team keeps seven D-linemen, particularly as they monitor McGee's groin injury.
The good news is last year, due to injuries and the talent on the roster, a number of players were forced into spots they didn't truly belong. Hood doesn't have the true size to play nose, but he was forced into the position. Lanier is best served as an interior pass rusher, but was forced to be a run stuffer.
With more investments on the line, and better luck in the training room, the 2018 Redskins D-line should have more people playing where they belong. And that could go a long way.
MORE REDSKINS NEWS:
- Need to Know: Best RBs Redskins will face in 2018
- How's the Knee?: Trent Williams looks beyond ready
- Ranking the Redskins Roster: Revealing 53-31
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Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, July 18, eight days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.
The five best running backs the Redskins will face in 2018
This week we’ll be looking at the best of what the Redskins will face during the 2018 season. Today the running backs are up. They are roughly ranked 2017 rushing yards, although I did some juggling based on offseason moves and other factors. Prior to this, we looked at the best teams, receivers, and quarterbacks.
Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys—He actually finished 10thin the league in rushing yards behind two backs who will face the Redskins. Elliott gets boosted up the list because he was suspended for six games last year. He averaged 98 yards per game played, and had he been able to play in 16 games, he would have led the league in rushing yards with over 300 yards to spare. In three games against the Redskins, he has averaged 110 yards per game and he has five touchdowns. The Redskins’ revamped rushing defense will be tested twice.
Mark Ingram, Saints—He will be coming off of a four-game suspension for Redskins vs. Saints in Week 5. Will he be rested or rusty? If he’s in any kind of form, the Redskins defense will have to be on its game. Last year against Washington in the Superdome, Ingram rushed for 134 yards and a touchdown on just 11 carries.
Leonard Fournette, Jaguars—The rookie did surpass the thousand-yard mark, posting 1,040. Some pointed out that it wasn’t a consistent effort as he gained 310 yards, almost 30 percent of his total, in two back-to-back games in Weeks 5 and 6. That’s fine but he still is a difficult opponent with his combination of size and speed. I look for him to have a big breakout this year.
Dion Lewis/Derrick Henry, Titans—Lewis averaged 5.0 yards per carry with the Patriots last year and Henry gained 744 yards while sharing time with the now-retired DeMarco Murray. Lewis will play a lot of third downs and will spell Henry sometimes early in games. That will leave the 6-3, 247-pound Henry fresh to grind up the clock if the Titans have a late lead.
Jay Ajayi, Eagles—Nobody has quite figured out why the Dolphins dealt him to the Eagles in midseason, but Philly was more than happy to add him to the offense. Ajayi became a workhorse in the postseason with 42 rushing attempts and six receptions in three games.
I do need to mention Giants rookie Saquan Barkley here. I have to think that the second overall pick of the draft will rank somewhere on this list, but without seeing him in an NFL uniform yet it’s hard to rank him. He will be dangerous, no doubt.
David Johnson of the Cardinals also will be tough to handle. After he missed all of last year with a hand injury it's difficult to rank him, too. If he is in his 2016 form in Week 1 the Redskins will face a tough task.
Best of the rest: Lamar Miller, Texans, Alvin Kamara, Saints, Ronald Jones, Bucs
Tandler on Twitter
So each team gets enough to cover the salary cap ($177 million) with $78 million to spare before selling a single ticket. Sure sounds like a league in trouble to me. https://t.co/S43QmyI4TA— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) July 16, 2018
Former Redskins offensive tackle Geroge Starke, one of the original Hogs, was born on this date in 1948.
—Training camp starts (7/26) 8
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 22
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 45
The Redskins last played a game 199 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 53 days.
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